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Dead or sunken spots on the trunk

sunken spot on trunkPortions of the trunk that appear sunken compared to the rest of the trunk may indicate a problem, or the sunken area may be a natural occurrence. Experience with many trees helps make this determination. Laurel oak for example, forms bark inclusions and sunken depressions in the lower trunk as it reaches middle age (see photos).

Live oak typically does not form these depressions. Natural depressions must be differentiated from developing cavities, hollows, and dead spots in order to evaluate trees effectively (See: cavities). In any case, there is little that can be done to stop or fix sunken spots on the trunk. There are cases where reducing the size of a tree with this defect can result in prolonging its serviceable life. See how reduce the size of a tree.

indentation on trunk